The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

texas chainsaw massacre poster 2003 movie
2.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 2/10

Not much

Dull remake with a boring cast and look

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Studio:  Radar Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  October 17, 2003

MPAA Rating:  R


Give me some stuff to cut up…please?

In 1973, a group of teens travelling from a trip in Mexico to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert pick up a young hitchhiker (Lauren German).  When she kills herself in their van, they seek help in a nearby town.  Unknown to them, the town is a home to an evil that could mean their death.  Now Erin (Jessica Biel), Kempter (Eric Balfour), Pepper (Erica Leerhsen), Andy (Mike Vogel), and Morgan (Jonathan Tucker) must escape the clutches of a psychotic sheriff Hoyt (R. Lee Ermey) and a deformed killer named Leatherface (Andrew Bryniarski).

Directed by Marcus Nispel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was an early entry in a flood of horror remakes.  Produced by Michael Bay, the film was met with negative reviews and still claiming to be “based on actual events” like the original, the movie was a huge moneymaker for its low budget.


We’re young…attractive…boring…

This movie is bad.  Anything with Jessica Biel and Eric Balfour has to already be questioned and this is no exception.  What originally was a low-budget, dirty, rough movie becomes a bit too polished and drawn out.  The original film had the characters just attacked and fighting for survival.  This movie has them running, talking, and really overthinking everything going on.  The movie loses its grittiness by trying to create more of a plot.  Even the usually entertaining R. Lee Ermey just kind of founders (but honestly still has some of the best scenes in the film).  A fun throwback to the original has John Larroquette returning as the voice of the narrator.

The movie isn’t very scary.  There are a few jumps, but when the old movie was so horrific, it is hard to find this goofy film very scary.  Leatherface is big and lurking, but he is now a “horror” icon and no longer just an oddity like he started out.  The implied horror of the original is more graphic in this film and in the graphic nature, less scary.


Drop and give me 20…then I’ll kill you!

Part of the problem is that the characters don’t feel like they are out in the middle of nowhere.  The family of cannibal killers is bigger and makes up a small town.  It still is impossible to escape the town since it is surrounded by empty fields, but here the movie loses the openness of the original film by having junky sets full of garbage for open sets.  I liked that at the end of the original film, Leatherface and his brother weren’t in too big of a hurry to stop the girl from escaping and enjoying the torture…here it just doesn’t seem as horrific and part of the reason is that it is less P.C. to exploit and torture a female victim like in the original film.

Don’t bother with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake.  It lacks what value the original film had (love it or hate it) and it doesn’t add any scares.  It has a bad cast, bad look, and boring story.  There are worse movies, but this movie is barely entertaining bad…It was followed by a prequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:  The Beginning in 2006.

Related Links:

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 (1986)

Leatherface:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)

Texas Chainsaw Massacre:  The Next Generation (1994)

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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